Preparedness activities in the MCR

We heard from Claire Hamasu, Associate Director of the MidContinental Region (MCR) of NN/LM at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City about their emergency preparedness and response activities to date.  Claire notes that she and Javier Crespo, the Associate Director of the New England Region (NER) at the University of Massachusetts and the “buddy” RML for MCR, have reviewed MCR’s continuity of service plan.  Instructions were refined to clearly explain how the NER could use the MCR’s communication tools to inform those in the MCR how to contact the NER for assistance.

At the October Regional Advisory Board meeting, one of the discussion topics was Emergency Planning.  The question was, “Assuming that emergency planning is important, how do we, the RML, promote activities that result in emergency plans?  Three themes emerged from this discussion:

  1. Libraries need to be part of the institution’s emergency plan.  They must be at the table where it’s being formed.  Librarians need to insinuate the library into the discussion.
  2. Libraries should partner with other organizations outside their institution–public library, public health, and other hospitals.
  3. Libraries need to protect their core resources.

The NN/LM MCR has made funding available for emergency planning.  Network members can apply for up to $15,000 to fund projects designed to develop partnerships that enhance access to health information in preparation for and during emergencies.  MCR has established two liaisons with other libraries, the Dykes Library in Kansas and the McGoogan Library of Medicine in Nebraska, to create emergency preparedness plans for the libraries.